You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kurt Cobain

2007 Hot Property

Principals: Courtney Love

Licensees include: The National Entertainment Collectables Assn. (NECA) and Primary Wave Music Publishing

The story: Last year, Love sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalog to Primary Wave for $50 million, putting the deceased lead singer ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes’ 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities.

Overall, the dead celebs licensing market was worth nearly a quarter-million dollars last year, according to Forbes.

And Love is looking to tap into it beyond just tunes, T-shirts and posters, licensing the name and likeness of her late husband to NECA, which has put it on everything from lunch boxes to small liquor flasks that double as key chains.

In fact, the New Jersey-based company even makes a Kurt Cobain action figure, featuring the lead singer — who, despite a large record contract, never positioned himself as a big proponent of commercial enterprise — strumming his left-handed Fender guitar and wearing the same striped shirt he had on in Nirvana’s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” musicvideo.

POV: For its part, representatives for both the Kurt Cobain estate and Primary Wave insist the Nirvana tunes won’t be used for anything the artist wouldn’t agree with if he were still alive.

“We believe if we say yes to the right things, we can do both — make money and do the right thing for the catalog,” Love’s manager, Peter Asher, told Forbes.

More Scene

  • Taura Stinson, Common, and Diane WarrenVariety

    Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

    Principals: Courtney Love Licensees include: The National Entertainment Collectables Assn. (NECA) and Primary Wave Music Publishing The story: Last year, Love sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalog to Primary Wave for $50 million, putting the deceased lead singer ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes’ 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities. Overall, the […]

  • 'Game Night' film premiere

    'Game Night': Director, Writer Talk 'Straddling Genres' and the Influence of 'Get Out'

    Principals: Courtney Love Licensees include: The National Entertainment Collectables Assn. (NECA) and Primary Wave Music Publishing The story: Last year, Love sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalog to Primary Wave for $50 million, putting the deceased lead singer ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes’ 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities. Overall, the […]

  • Esquire 'Mavericks of Hollywood' party

    Terry Crews on His Sexual Assault Lawsuit: 'If I Don’t Get Justice, Nobody Can'

    Principals: Courtney Love Licensees include: The National Entertainment Collectables Assn. (NECA) and Primary Wave Music Publishing The story: Last year, Love sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalog to Primary Wave for $50 million, putting the deceased lead singer ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes’ 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities. Overall, the […]

  • 20th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards

    'I, Tonya,' 'The Shape of Water' Win at 2018 Costume Designers Guild Awards

    Principals: Courtney Love Licensees include: The National Entertainment Collectables Assn. (NECA) and Primary Wave Music Publishing The story: Last year, Love sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalog to Primary Wave for $50 million, putting the deceased lead singer ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes’ 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities. Overall, the […]

  • 'Atlanta' TV show premiere

    'Atlanta Robbin' Season' Will 'Show What Makes the City Tick,' Producer Says

    Principals: Courtney Love Licensees include: The National Entertainment Collectables Assn. (NECA) and Primary Wave Music Publishing The story: Last year, Love sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalog to Primary Wave for $50 million, putting the deceased lead singer ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes’ 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities. Overall, the […]

  • Mr Chow 50th Anniversary celebration

    Mr. Chow 50th Anniversary Party Draws Stevie Wonder, Heidi Klum & More Stars

    Principals: Courtney Love Licensees include: The National Entertainment Collectables Assn. (NECA) and Primary Wave Music Publishing The story: Last year, Love sold a 25% stake in Nirvana’s song catalog to Primary Wave for $50 million, putting the deceased lead singer ahead of Elvis Presley on Forbes’ 2006 list of the top-earning dead celebrities. Overall, the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content